Chittorgarh lies 115 km to the east of Udaipur and is spread in an area of 700 acres. Situated beside a high hill close to Gambheri River, the city has a range of historical palaces, forts, towers and temples. Chittorgarh can trace its history to as far back as 7th century. The earlier name of Chittorgarh was Chitrakut named after Chitrang, a local Rajput.
It is worth recounting here that Chittorgarh was given as dowry to Bappa Rawal who laid down the foundations of Sisodiya Dynasty in mid 8th century. It was Bappa Rawal's descendants who ruled Chittorgarh from mid 8th century to 16th century.
Chittor was one of the most popular destinations in Rajasthan and has remained a witness to some of the fiercest battles fought for its possession. The place was prized capital of Mewar Rajputs and continued to be their capital for 834 years.
Though the place has lost its earlier charm yet is widely respected for its glorious history. Tourists come from far and wide to catch a glimpse of this magnificent city and see a host of places which have massive historical value.
Then again, it is not only about forts and palaces that are worth seeing in Chittor for its vibrant market is nothing short of a paradise for tourists who can buy a range of local items and memoirs for their friends and relatives back home. Be it silver jewellery, tie and dye fabrics, metal work and conventional costumes from Rana Sanga Market, Fort Road and Sardar Bazar.
Along with other festivals like Holi, Diwali etc. Ganger is on eof the most important festivals celebrated in Chittorgarh. The summer at Chittorgarh is very oppressive however the winter is pleasant. The best time to visit Chittorgarh is between September and March.
Some of the major attractions of Chittorgarh are:
Located on a 180 meter high hill Chittorgarh runs over an area of 700 acres. It is the largest fort in India and grandest in entire Rajputana. The fort was under the control of Guhilot and was taken over by Sisodia rulers in the 7th century. It continued to be with them till it was abandoned following a siege by Emperor Akbar in 1567. The fort is not only source of rich history but is also home to a number of historical palaces, gates, temples two prominent commemoration towers. This monumental fort has attracted tourists in droves for generations now and proudly takes its place as one of the leading landmarks of Chittor.
Kalika Mata Temple
Kalika Mata Temples was first built as a temple for Sun God in 8th century. It was, however, converted as a temple of Goddess Kali around 14th century. During Navratri devotees come from far and wide to pay their obeisance at the temple.
Vijay Stambh is a massive nine story tower constructed by Maharana Kumbha to commemorate his victory over Muslim rulers of Malwa and Gujrat in 1440. The exterior walls of the structure have enchanting sculptures and carvings. The tower stands aloft on a 10 ft. high base and is visible from any part of the town. The inside walls of tower have the beautiful pictures of Hindu Gods and Goddesses and weapons engraved on them. The top of the tower offers enchanting view of the surroundings.
Kirti Stambh is dedicated to Rishabala, the first Tirthankara of Jains. Constructed by Biherwal Mahajan Sanaya of Digamber Jain Sect in 12th century. , Kirti Stambh is adorned by figures from Jain Pantheons while its four corners have the engraved idols of Shri Adinath in Digamber style. In other places of the Stambh small idols of Jain deities are engraved.
Rana Kumbha's Palace
Located close to Vijay Stambh, Rana Kumbha's Palace holds the honor of being the birth place of Maharana Udai Singh, the founder of Udaipur. It is believed Meera Bai, the famous Rajput princess also lived in this palace. It is also believed that it was here that Queen Padmini performed 'Jauhar" with other ladies in one of its underground cellars.
Rani Padmini's Palace
It is widely believed that it was from this palace from where Alauddin Khilji was allowed to catch a glimpse of the reflection of Queen Padmini in one of the mirrors.
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